the memoirs of antonina


New “Projects” Section; New Photos from Mount Auburn Cemetery Composer Residency


(Recording session at WGBH Boston for “Mount Auburn: Spring and Autumn Suites”. Photo credit: Mount Auburn Cemetery )



Greetings all! A new “Projects” section has been added to the website, featuring information and media from Mary’s past and current composing projects including her Mount Auburn Cemetery composer residency, her Synesthesia Suite: Constellations collaboration with Boston’s Museum of Science, and her forthcoming opera The Memoirs of Antonina.


Additionally, a new series of new photos from Mary’s Mount Auburn Cemetery composer residency have just been released — you can view them on the Mount Auburn: Spring and Autumn Suites project page, and also right here!:



Thank you to all of the amazing organizations and artists that make these projects possible! <3 Cheers and wishing everyone a wonderful weekend! <3
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“The Memoirs of Antonina” Preview Concert Videos Released Today


( Artwork and logo by: Chess Albaneze )


Happy Birthday to Marie Antoinette, and Happy #OperaWeek to one and all! In honor of both, the videos from Mary’s The Memoirs of Antonina opera preview concert have just premiered on her Youtube page! You can find a playlist featuring all eight songs from the concert right here:


https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEn_bNUn-dLmMaezxRMp9NcmvPkXCWN2J


And here are the links to each individual video:







Mary will also be highlighting excepts from the concert on her Instagram account throughout the month of November.


THANK YOU to all of the amazing artists who brought these new songs to life!: Helen Zhibing Huang (Marie Antoinette), Emily Thorner (Antonina), Neal Ferreira (Louis XVI), Junhan Choi (Jacques Hébert), Tim Ribchester (Music Director), Emma Terrell (Assistant Music Director), Porcelain Dalya (Assistant Stage Director/Actor), and Jesse Strachman, Michela Micalizio, and Ryan Huemmer (Actors)! And huge and heartful thanks to the awesome Allthingsharmony / Brandon Johnson for crafting these beautiful videos!


For more information on The Memoirs of Antonina, you can visit the opera’s mini-site right here:


http://www.marybichner.com/memoirsofantonina


Thank you to one and all — and Joyeux Anniversaire, Marie Antoinette! <3


Videos From “Memoirs of Antonina” Opera Preview Concert Premiering November 2nd (October 19th For Mailing List Subscribers)


( Photo credit: Allthingsharmony/Brandon Johnson )


Exciting news: the videos from Mary’s Memoirs of Antonina opera preview concert (crafted BEAUTIFULLY by the awesome Brandon Johnson of All Things Harmony) are almost here! The videos will be released via Mary’s YouTube account on Friday, November 2nd (Marie Antoinette’s birthday), BUT, for subscribers to Mary’s mailing list, a secret early link to the videos will be sent to all subscribers on Friday, Oct 19th — two weeks before the are released to the general public!


To sign up for Mary’s mailing list to obtain the early release of the videos, simply visit the following link:


Mary Bichner Mailing List – SignUp Form


And to learn more about this new opera inspired by Marie Antoinette of France, you can visit the MOA mini-site right here!:


http://www.marybichner.com/memoirsofantonina


THANK YOU to the amazing performers that made this concert such a dream (Helen Zhibing Huang – Marie Antoinette, Emily Thorner – Antonina, Neal Ferreira – Louis XVI, Junhan Choi – Jacques Hébert, Tim Ribchester – Music Director, Emma Terrell – Assistant Music Director, Porcelain Dalya – Assistant Stage Director/Actor, and Jesse Strachman, Michela Micalizio, and Ryan Huemmer – Actors), and looking forward to sharing these new videos with everyone shortly!


Composer Residency at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico (September-December 2018)


( Photo Credit: The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico )


Mary is honored to have been selected for a composer residency at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico for September through December 2018! While in residence at HWF, Mary will continue working on her forthcoming opera, “The Memoirs of Antonina“, as well as several other projects TBA.


Here is more information on this wonderful organization, from the HWF official website:


“The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, established in 1954, is one of the oldest artist residence programs in the country. The Foundation’s mission is to ‘Support the artist and the creative process’ and serves as a haven for visual artists, literary artists and music composers. We are located on fifteen acres in the heart of Taos, New Mexico, a four-hundred-year-old multicultural community renowned for its popularity with artists.”


Congratulations to all of the 2018 residents, and enormous thanks to the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation for inviting Mary to take part in this amazing residency!


“The Memoirs of Antonina” Preview Concert — Thank You!


THANK YOU to all who attended the “The Memoirs of Antonina” preview concert at Cambridge’s Central Square Theater Sept 2nd! It was an honor to have these new works premiered by such a phenomenal cast of talented musicians, and to share it with such an incredible audience. Here is an Instagram post with more info on the show!:


View this post on Instagram

Green room selfie with the entire cast of last eve's "The Memoirs of Antonina" preview concert, just before taking the stage! 🎶💕👑🎀🎹🎭✨ It was an honor to premiere these new works with such a talented group of artists. THANK YOU the amazing performers who brought these new recits and arias to life — Helen Zhibing Huang (Marie Antoinette), Emily Thorner (Antonina), Neal Ferreira (Louis XVI), Junhan Choi (Jacques Hébert) and Tim Ribchester (music director) and Emma Terrell (assistant music director); and our wonderful actors (Porcelain Dalya, Michela Micalizio, Ryan Huemmer, and Jesse Strachman). Huge and heartfelt thanks also to Lee Mikeska Gardner and Central Square Theater for giving us the opportunity to premiere these works in such a beautiful space, to Porcelain Dalya and her production assistant magic for making everything run like a dream onstage and off, and to the AWESOME audience who joined us for this sold-out show! 💕💕 I am so very grateful, and can't wait to continue working on the remaining songs and orchestration of the opera while in residence at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation later this month. Merci beaucoup (and hugs!!) to one and all! 💕🎶✨ #thememoirsofantonina #memoirsofantonina #opera #newopera #operaselfie #operalife #operaconcert #backstage #marieantoinette #louisxvi #jacqueshebert #antonina #newmusic #worldpremiere #soprano #lyricsoprano #coloraturasoprano #coloratura #tenor #baritone #aria #recitative #rococo #centralsquaretheater #helenewurlitzerfoundation #concert #mercibeaucoup #thankyou

A post shared by Mary Bichner (@marybichner) on




Later this month, Mary will be traveling to New Mexico for a three-month composer residency at the prestigious Helene Wurlizter Foundation in order to continue working on the opera’s composition and orchestration. Video from this concert will also be made available soon!



Thanks so much again to Central Square Theater and Nora Theater Company, our wonderful cast, and everyone who joined us for this performance. Wishing everyone a beautiful autumn and looking forward to sharing more updates on “The Memoirs of Antonina”!



New Peformance: Preview Concert for “The Memoirs of Antonina” at Cambridge’s Central Square Theater on September 2, 2018


( Logo artwork by: Chess Albaneze)


The Memoirs of Antonina is a new/in­-progress three­-act opera by composer Mary Bichner, inspired by Marie Antoinette of France. Taking its name from a slanderous 18th­-century tract about the queen’s rumored exploits and indiscretions, The Memoirs of Antonina focuses on the final years of Marie Antoinette’s life, and pits two versions of the queen (performed by two different singers) against one another: the imagined breezy libertine derided by revolutionary pamphleteers, and the distraught historical figure determined to reclaim her kingdom and her reputation. The opera also sets the stylistic conventions of opera buffa (Antonina) against those of opera seria (Antoinette), resulting in a work that explores both the exasperatingly comic — and profoundly tragic — elements of Marie Antoinette’s story.


This autumn, Mary will be headed to a composer residency at the prestigious Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico in order to continue working on the opera, but before she goes, she is excited to announce a very special Memoirs of Antonina preview concert in partnership with The Nora Theatre Company and Central Square Theater! The performance will take place on Sunday, September 2nd @ 7:00PM at the beautiful Central Square Theater of Cambridge, MA; and will feature the world premiere of five arias and three recitatives from the new opera. Starring Helen Zhibing Huang as Marie Antoinette, Emily Thorner as Antonina, Neal Ferreira as Louis XVI, and Junhan Choi as Jacques Hébert, with music direction by Berlin-based conductor and vocal coach Tim Ribchester.


Tickets are available via this link, thanks to the generosity of The Nora and CST, all tickets will be free!


And here is complete info on the show!:


09/02/18: “THE MEMOIRS OF ANTONINA” OPREA PREVIEW CONCERT
When: Sunday, Sepetember 2nd @ 7:00PM (doors @ 6:30PM)
Where: Central Square Theater (450 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA 02139)
Tickets: FREE (ticket required) — *GET TICKETS HERE*
Performers: Helen Zhibing Huang (Marie Antoinette), Emily Thorner (Antonina), Neal Ferreira (Louis XVI), Junhan Choi (Jacques Hébert), Tim Ribchester (music director).


Wishing everyone a magical August, and see you at the opera! <3


New Logo for “The Memoirs of Antonina” Opera, Illustrated by Chess Albaneze



Thank you so much to the wonderful Chess Albaneze for creating and illustrating this beautiful new logo for Mary’s forthcoming opera, “The Memoirs of Antonina”! The logo has been added to the official MoA page, right here:


http://www.marybichner.com/memoirsofantonina


And here is a bit about the opera!:


“The Memoirs of Antonina” is a new/in-progress three-act opera by composer Mary Bichner, inspired by Marie Antoinette of France. Taking its name from a slanderous 18th-century tract about the queen’s rumored exploits and indiscretions, “The Memoirs of Antonina” focuses on the final years of Marie Antoinette’s life, and pits two versions of the queen (performed by two different singers) against one another: the imagined breezy libertine derided by revolutionary pamphleteers, and the distraught historical figure determined to reclaim her kingdom and her reputation. The opera also sets the stylistic conventions of opera buffa (Antonina) against those of opera seria (Antoinette), resulting in a work that explores both the exasperatingly comic — and profoundly tragic — elements of Marie Antoinette’s story.


More MoA updates will be announced over the summer, including info on a preview concert for the opera coming in September 2018 to Boston, MA — please check back soon! <3


New Opera: The Memoirs of Antonina


“Marie-Antoinette with the Rose” by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun

After a year of planning and preparation, Mary is excited to finally announce the details of her forthcoming opera, The Memoirs of Antonina !



The Memoirs of Antonina is a new/in-progress three-act opera by composer Mary Bichner, inspired by Marie Antoinette of France. Taking its name from a slanderous 18th-century tract about the queen’s rumored exploits and indiscretions, The Memoirs of Antonina focuses on the final years of Marie Antoinette’s life, and pits two versions of the queen (performed by two different singers) against one another: the imagined breezy libertine derided by revolutionary pamphleteers, and the distraught historical figure determined to reclaim her kingdom and her reputation. The opera also sets the stylistic conventions of opera buffa (Antonina) against those of opera seria (Antoinette), resulting in a work that explores both the exasperatingly comic — and profoundly tragic — elements of Marie Antoinette’s story.


Musically, The Memoirs of Antonina is inspired by classical works of 18th-century Europe, and will be scored for an orchestra of approximately 30-50 players including woodwinds, brass, percussion and string orchestra.


In 2017, the opera’s act & scene structure, character/vocalist list, and song list were completed; and the libretto and musical score begun. In 2018, the libretto and musical score will be completed, with a first reading projected for late 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts (date/time TBA).


More info will be added in the weeks to come, both here on the news page and on the new Memoirs of Antonina mini-site:


http://www.marybichner.com/memoirsofantonina


Cheers to one and all and looking forward to this wonderful project! <3